5 Quick Things #256 🍻
lotsa kids, commonplace books, creative resistance, and IRELAND
I hope your week was uneventful in all the right ways! It was our school’s fall break, so aside from a literal one-day trip (as in, I didn’t even spend the night) out of state1 to do some filming for a project, I’ve been home laying low. I’m in decluttering mode, so I’ve sorted through my way-too-tall kids’ clothes that no longer fit, redundant cleaning products that only take up space, and picture frames that have been stacked in our bedroom corner for far too long. It felt really good. Now for the other 2,834 other items to relinquish.
The Commonplace is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I’ve also been working on a short ghost story, grading essays, and …unveiling my trip for next summer! I’m so thrilled to invite you to join us on The Celtic Way, our summer 2023 pilgrimage to Ireland. More details below! Truly, you won’t want to miss it.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. She never wanted kids, but number six is now on the way. “I’m not trying to single handedly repopulate the Earth over here. Having kids, especially lots of them, is now counter-cultural; it’s so far outside the norm that I’m used to random strangers commenting every time we’re all out in public. But it’s the most fulfilling expression of hope and belief in the future.”
2. Creativity is hard, and when hard stares at us in the face, it feels easier to clean the fridge or empty the inbox. That’s not always bad, but when those menial tasks rob us of our creative energy, it’s demoralizing. I resonated deeply with this and needed to hear it: “…We were made for more than what is busy and what is safe.”
3. I learned from this piece that my daughter’s future university has a scholarship for students willing to relinquish their smartphone. I’m intrigued! “For more than a decade we have been running a vast social experiment to see whether the benefits of smart phones outweigh the costs. We have largely let this experiment be waged on our kids, who are in their most formative years, and who can scarcely remember life any other way.”
4. Here’s inspiration + practical tips for keeping your own Commonplace Book (the namesake practice of this newsletter!).
5. And finally, this week I re-listened to The Great Divorce and The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis and was reminded that these are 1. some of my favorite short books and 2. some of Lewis’ most misunderstood (especially the latter). Here’s a great primer on The Abolition of Man if you’ve ever been intimidated (or confused) by it. In my opinion, that short book is required reading for us all.
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📚🎧
“Everyone thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy #
The Commonplace is a reader-supported publication! Become a subscriber:
Which Food Must Go? 🥪
This was admittedly a tough one for me, too... But if I had to choose, I’d be with the majority of you. I can’t imagine a life without tacos.
Find this week’s poll here.
The Celtic Way 🇮🇪
Join me and my husband Kyle next summer as we pilgrimage through Ireland! From July 15-25, 2023 we’ll explore this island together. It’s more adventurous and outdoorsy than my recent Italy pilgrimage (but we’ll still stay in genuinely nice hotels), and it’s hands-on with our planned experiences (Sheepdog farming? Scone-making class? Whiskey tasting? Traditional dance lessons? Live music in the home of a local? YES PLEASE.) …and it’s family-friendly. Yep! My kids are going on this one, and yours can too, if you like.
I’m hoping for another motley crue of pilgrims, just like what organically happened on our summer ‘22 pilgrimage: young and older, single and married, religious and not, seasoned travelers and first-time abroad newbies. All are welcome, so long as you embrace a laid-back adventure style of travel! And you’re willing to learn about yourself, the world, and your place in it.
Quick Links 🔗
Become a paying subscriber of The Commonplace (and thank you!)
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
One year from now, what actions will you be glad you took today?
Have a good weekend,
p.s. A new loading icon.
The Commonplace is a reader-supported publication. Become a subscriber:
As I read this, I realized this isn’t interesting to many of you who live in smaller states, such as those in New England. It’s rather rare here in Texas.